Iran News ...


7/4/07

Sinister Time for the Press

By Jubin Motamed (source: CASMII )
Editor's note: Jubin Motamed is on the editorial board of CASMII.

On Monday 2nd July 2007 reports from Britain say at least one doctor is among five people who have been arrested, as police hunt for accomplices of suspected militants who rammed a burning Jeep into a Scottish airport and tried to detonate two car bombs in central London.

The BBC identified one of the suspects in custody as Lebanese national doctor Mohammed Asha, who it said lived and worked in England. Whereas, Britain's top-selling Sun newspaper identified one of those detained as an Iranian doctor who worked at North Staffordshire Hospital in central England.

Mike Sullivan and Andrew Parker write in the Sun, 2nd July 2007, "THE suspected ringleader of a plot to unleash a blitz of car bombs on Britain is an Iranian doctor arrested with his burka-clad wife."

On 26th June 2007, Tom Newton Dunn, Sun’s Defence Editor, publishes an article “Iran bombers attack Our Boys” on The Sun’s front page. He claimed the sightings had been confirmed to The Sun by very senior unidentified military sources. The article commences with “IRANIAN forces are being choppered over the Iraqi border to bomb Our Boys, intelligence chiefs say. Military experts claim this worrying move means we are at WAR with Iran in all but name— but nobody has officially declared it..”

In an article on 2nd July 2007 Paul Krugman of The Guardian published the following article under the heading “Dark days for the US press”:

In October 2003, the nonpartisan Programme on International Policy Attitudes published a study titled "Misperceptions, the Media and the Iraq War". It found that 60% of Americans believed at least one of the following: clear evidence had been found of links between Iraq and al-Qaida; weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq; world public opinion favoured the US going to war with Iraq.

The prevalence of these misperceptions, however, depended crucially on where people got their news. Only 23% of Americans who got their informa­tion mainly from a public broadcaster- the Public Broadcasting Service or National Public Radio - believed any of these untrue things, but the number was 80% among those reviewing primarily on Fox News. In particular, two-thirds of Fox devotees believed that the US had "found clear evidence in Iraq that Saddam Hussein was working closely with the al-Qaida terrorist organisation".

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, which owns Fox News conducted similar tactics before invasion of Iraq as Sun is now adopting towards Iran.

The problem with Murdoch isn't that he's a rightwing ideologue. If that were all he was, he'd be much less dangerous. What he is, rather, is an opportunist who exploits a rule-free media environment, one created, in part, by conservative political power - by slanting news cov­erage to favour whoever he thinks will serve his business interests.

Murdoch's Times, Sun and News Corp, which owns Fox News, is also buying the Wall Street Journal.

The problem with Murdoch isn't that he's a rightwing ideologue. If that were all he was, he'd be much less dangerous. What he is, rather, is an opportunist who exploits a rule-free media environment - one created, in part, by conservative political power - by slanting news cov­erage to favour whoever he thinks will serve his business interests.

In the US, that strategy has mainly meant blatant bias in favour of the Bush administration and the Republican party, but last year Murdoch covered his cases by hosting a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton's Senate re-election campaign. In Britain, Murdoch endorsed Tony Blair n 1997 and gave his government favourable coverage, "ensuring", reported the few York Times, "that the new govern-lent would allow him to keep intact his British holdings". And in China, Murdoch's organisations have taken care not to offend the dictatorship.

Now, Murdoch's people rarely make flatly false claims. Instead, they usually convey misinformation through innu-endo. During the early months of the iq occupation, for example, Fox gave breathless coverage to each report of possible WMDs, with little or no coverage of the subsequent discovery that it was a false alarm. No wonder, then, that many Fox viewers got the impression that WMDs had been found.

When all else fails, Murdoch's news organisations simply stop covering inconvenient subjects. Last year, Fox relentlessly pushed claims that the "liberal media" were failing to report the "good news" from Iraq. That line became untenable - the project for Excellence in Journalism found that in the first quarter of 2007 day time programmes on Fox News devoted only 6% of their time to the Iraq war, compared with 18% at MSNBC and 20% at CNN. What took Iraq's place? Anna Nicole Smith, who received 17% of Fox’s daytime coverage. Rupert Murdoch, with global newspapers in his hand has done so much to mislead so many.

If there were any justice in the world, Murdoch, who did more than anyone in the news business to mislead the US/UK public into an unjustified, disastrous war and is now repeating his tactic to extend this war to Iran would be put on trial in the International Criminal Court. Unfortunately, instead he is expanding his empire.

... Payvand News - 7/4/07 ... --



comments powered by Disqus

Home | ArchiveContact | About |  Web Sites | Bookstore | Persian Calendar | twitter | facebook | RSS Feed


© Copyright 2007 NetNative (All Rights Reserved)